March has marched on; and Really Awful April First


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Let me tell you about some of the things I haven’t had time to mention over the past month.

There was an example of totally irrational and reprehensible behaviour from a local group of people I would confidently have assumed would display far more maturity and judgment.

Sunflower oil burning

The Sun Oil factory, within sight from down the road, went up in smoke – in fact, you could see the smoke going up in no uncertain manner!

Our next-door neighbour (until very recently), with whom I was about to enter into a business relationship, turned out to be much in demand – by the police. He has a colourful history of numerous amazing scams and misrepresentations, and at one stage is recorded as having scaled down a drainpipe from a fourth-storey window in order to escape the consequences of his actions. The lad has again slipped away into the woodwork in the nick of time.

I (brag alert) was elected to the Board of an eminent local organisation formed in 1903.  I was also appointed as an Honorary Life Member of said organisation – the previous such nomination having occurred some twenty years ago.

I took delivery of a large item which is now filling me with daily delight.

You have, of course, taken note of the date!

However:

My April Fool stunt for the day

Is not to try, in any way,

To offer tales of altitude

To all the gullible, as food.

 

Those thinking back on past years, who

Have waited for ‘the other shoe’

Will wait in vain to hear it fall -

I have not pulled a prank at all!

 

Nor, you will note, did bunnies hop

All over this here blogging shop,

For ‘Rabbits’ has not been declared,

The word is totally ‘un-hared’!

There will, thus, be more to follow on these topics!

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)

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A Rose Smelling Really Awful


 

This rose arose; take it as red.

This rose arose; take it as red.

A rose by any other name

Might well still smell as sweet,

But other ‘rose’ smells, all the same,

One knows the nose may greet.

 

When rows and rows of shacks there rose,

A smell, pure, would endure;

But think, what stink on that wind blows – ?

More like manure, for sure!

 

And then, the sort of roes one gets

All served up on a dish?

Assume that sets quite fishy, let’s:

These dregs are eggs of fish!

 

Suppose that when a boat one rows

No perfume do you get,

(Unless by those who went and chose

To let the smell be sweat.)

 

Then, other roes, Eurasian deer,

Might have some sort of smell;

‘d Appear I could not steer, I fear,

 Close well enough to tell.

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Gardens, Humour, Nonsense verse, Poems, Really Awful Rhyme | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Colonialists and Savages


Images obtained HERE

For those who haven’t come across it, some of the students at University of Cape Town have recently taken offence, on grounds which are blatantly racist however much they may deny it, at the fact that a statue of a seated figure of Cecil John Rhodes dominates the entrance.  Ignoring the fact that he was a towering figure in the history of the period, they want him removed (and replaced, no doubt, with another ‘Hero of the Struggle’).  They accuse him of having been disparaging to those of local ethnicity, and of having caused the deaths of many, and maintain that tracts of land donated and scholarships created by him during his lifetime were selfishly towards preserving his own immortality and should not count in his favour.

Instead of spanking their backsides and telling them to study history a bit more assiduously, the university has agreed that the famous memorial will come down.

Surprisingly, the views on which demands are based are supported by many of the academics who are probably of colonialist descent themselves. Members of the oh-so-stupidly-PC brigade, no doubt. Also surprisingly, historians have responded to arguments that he was a good deal less disgusting in habits and attitudes than, for example, Shaka, with lame claims that the cases are not the same and that Shaka has the saving grace of having unified the Nguni people – this is very debatable.  In fact Shaka chased many north, and others into becoming allied with the white settlers.  He also bumped off significant numbers.  I don’t know of any scholarships he left, either. Nevertheless, he was certainly a major figure in the history of his time, and I have no problem with him being remembered and commemorated.

I have a major problem, however, with the idea of tampering with or destroying things which are part of the history of the country, and renaming streets, buildings and places with the names of people whose accomplishments simply pale to insignificance by comparison with either the persons they replace or those who did the original naming. The new nominees often achieved little more than loudly supporting a cause, and perhaps causing some damage in opposing the other one. There is no justification for using them to replace someone whose efforts added a lasting benefit for the whole community. It is also a form of theft. Surely the creator of something has the right to have it named after them, or to have the name they chose to be respected and maintained?

This antipathy to colonialists is also inexplicable – it has to be fed by ignorance and misinformation. Everyone pussyfoots round the incontrovertible facts. The colonialists came – as people with mistaken ideas by today’s standards, certainly – but with vastly greater progress into technology, learning, arts and culture than the local races they encountered. To them, these locals were nothing more than savages.  And savages they would undoubtedly have remained for a considerable time to come, except that the colonialists lifted them by the bootstraps of their non-existent boots to propel them into a greatly advanced state of evolution. For this, and the sophisticated infrastructure which evolved due to the efforts and enterprise of the colonialists – and without which would not have done so! – one would think that a mature society would be ready, willing and able to concede their place in local history.

The apartheid era was born of the conviction that it was not possible for evolutionary acceleration to take place, and that local races should be left to progress separately towards advancement. The greatest evils of apartheid came after it had been demonstrated that the local races could, indeed, progress at a considerable rate – and then it was tried, by force, to stop them from doing so.

Having said which, many of the actions of government over the past decade make it seem that they are quite determined to prove that the original theory was right.  The reasons are not, I believe, that the indigenous people are incapable – just that the voters are misguided regarding the basis on which they choose their leaders, resulting in some of the least suitable persons ending up in charge. Understandably, they make a muck of it.

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | 21 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral – snow good expecting it to stay.


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Now and again a particularly cold spell will cause a bit of snow to fall on the Inhlosane peak near Dargle in the Natal Midlands.  It is seldom there for more than a couple of days; sometimes only for part of a day. 

This picture has the extra ephemeral element of the snow making the mountain look rather unreal.

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This is the view from the escarpment high up on the other side on the same day (the snowfall took place the previous afternoon).

Inhlosane normal

And this is the normal appearance.

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Challenge, Nature, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Really Awful Hosiery


 

Shocking stockings

My right leg was feeling quite swell,

And giving me all kinds of hell,

Now I’ve got this shocking

Constrictive-type stocking

This dreadful uprising to quell.

 

Don’t blame me for showing a view

Of such awful hosiery to you;

It’s due to Ruth2Day

Demanding a display –

A commenting blogger, that’s who!

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Humour, Personal Journal, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

A Really Awful policy decision on whether to use any more anymore.


This is a little job our new builder had to fix.  Somehow, this amount of support did not inspire confidence.

This is a little job our new builder had to fix. Somehow, this amount of support did not inspire confidence.

On the building scene – a front door which, to be upfront, caused affront.  I think that the lintel was cut a teensy weensy bit too short, don’t you agree?

Anyway, let us now turn to things less concrete.  A building exercise with words!  I started wondering about this while taking time off other editing to do some more work on the pre-proof edit of Darx Circle (sadly neglected of late).  This is the sort of thing I adopt as a personal rule, but do not dream of imposing on the writers I edit:

 

I always thought that ‘anymore’

From USA came to the fore,

And, nose stuck firmly in the air,

Placed ‘any more’ just everywhere.

 

But, recently, I looked again,

And found that experts, in the main,

Expressed themselves as most unsure

Regarding which was the most pure.

 

So I’ve decided to adopt

One out of which I used to opt:

The ‘anymore’ I shall now take

As ‘any longer’ sense to make.

 

Then ‘any more’, as one may see,

Must mean a greater quantity;

Now, any more you want to know

I will not, anymore, here show.

 

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Editing, Language, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme, Renovations | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Photo Challenge: a FRESH way of looking at things


 

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Some of the activity over this weekend provides progress towards having a fresh outlook from the will-it-ever-be completed new home.  This is how it was:

As it started.

As it started.

This is how it is becoming:

Out with the old.

Out with the old.

The new start going in.

The new start going in.

The new continue ... (Note enlarged windows in the far wing.)

The new continue …
(Note enlarged windows in the far wing.)

After this, when we hold an open house party, it really will be one.  The doors concertina.

I rather liked the timber, but you couldn’t open those windows enough for proper airing, and the wood had been thoroughly fed upon for decades …

Do you think it is an improvement?

© Colonialist March 2015 (WordPress)
Posted in Personal Journal, Photography, Renovations, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 40 Comments